China Life wins auction for Taipei Academy rights

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Nov 29, 2013 - Page 13

Life insurer China Life Insurance Co (中國人壽) yesterday won the auction for the superficies rights of the Taipei Academy (台北學苑) and 13 other plots of state-owned land in neighboring areas of the capital for NT$14.17 billion (US$477.43 million), the highest price paid for a superficies rights deal this year.

That represented a premium of NT$2.73 billion, or 23.88 percent, from the auction’s floor price of NT$11.44 billion set by the Ministry of Finance.

It is the biggest leasing of superficies rights by the governmet this year in term of area.

China Life will receive a 70-year lease for the 4,050.17 ping (13,389m2) plot of land for commercial use only and the company has to pay an annual rent of NT$46.36 million to the ministry.

Seven bidders participated in yesterday’s auction, including China Life and Fubon Life Insurance Co (富邦人壽).

“This rare opportunity may have seen some companies hope to raise their profiles by taking part in such a big auction,” said an administration official, who wished to remain anonymous.

Yung Ching Asset Management Co (永慶資產管理) vice president Jeffery Huang (黃增福) said as the Taipei Academy is a large plot of land located in an urban area, it could bring big business opportunities for the winner of the auction.

Huang said he was not surprised that China Life won the bid, as only insurers have sufficient funds to invest in massive property developmemt projects such as the Taipei Academy.

China Life will only be allowed to redevelop the Taipei Academy as commerical facilities such as hotels, shops or offices, rather than as residential units, according to the ministry’s regulations.